The median sales price for all homes in San Diego County last month was 9.7 percent lower than it was in November 2006, DataQuick Information Systems reported today.

The median for resale detached homes slid 7.4 percent in the same period, while resale condos dropped 9.6 percent and new homes 2.3 percent.

(The most recent data from the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index for resale detached homes showed a 9.6 percent drop from September 2006 to September 2007).

The all-home median is an imperfect price measure. But to gauge a general trend, here’s an interesting comparison:

The median price has now fallen 14.98 percent from its peak of $517,500 in November 2005. In the early- to mid-90s cycle, DataQuick data shows a difference between a high in August 1991 and a low in December 1996 of 12 percent. So the current market’s slide is so far deeper the one last decade, as measured by the DataQuick all-home median.

One explanation for the lower median price right now is the limited access to jumbo financing — mortgages for more than $417,000. With fewer people able to finance homes priced higher than that threshold, fewer of those homes are selling. Thus the median, the midpoint among prices of all homes sold in a particular month, drops.

I pulled out the Case-Shiller data to compare the trend. The peak in that index (measuring resale detached homes only) in the 1990s cycle was July 1990, and the trough April 1996, totaling a slide of 17.21 percent in home prices in that period.

According to that index, prices have so far fallen 10.99 percent between the peak in Nov. 2005 and Sept. 2007. The depth of the current slide doesn’t yet surpass the 1990s, according to the Case-Shiller index. We’ll keep you posted as we get more data for October and November in the next little while.

DataQuick’s report also showed sales activity for all homes dropped 26.1 percent last month compared to November 2006. New home sales were down 31.1 percent, resale condos down 8.6 percent and resale detached homes down 29.6 percent in the same time period.


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